Billyard Insurance Blog

Home Insurance – The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

Home Insurance: The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist

So you’ve made the right move, you got an insurance quote and valuable advice from a broker at the Billyard Insurance Group.  Now you have top quality home insurance coverage for your most valuable asset.  However protecting you home doesn’t stop there, proper seasonal home maintenance can go a long way to ensuring you never have to file an insurance claim and keep your insurance rates as low as possible.   We all hate to do it, but we love the results of giving our home a good spring cleaning. That’s why for this article we checked in with some of the leading home experts to see what tasks they recommend you add to your ultimate spring cleaning checklist.

While you may be tempted to tackle all of these spring cleaning to-dos in one day, the experts recommend setting aside an entire weekend to get it done right. Here’s the breakdown:

Clean Walls & Ceilings
You’ll need your vacuum, plus all the attachments and accessories, for this task. It’s one of the quickest and cleanest ways to zap dust from air vents, crown molding, baseboards, corners, and ceiling fans. Vacuum from the top of the room down, taking care to vacuum any dust that settles on the floor. Once you’ve “dusted” everything with your vacuum, wipe down the surface of the walls. Use a solvent-free degreaser for surfaces with stubborn grime buildup.

Reseal Tile Grout Lines
With daily foot traffic, it’s common for the grout between your floor tiles to get stained over time. To help keep it clean, apply a penetrating grout sealer with a small foam brush.

Shampoo Rugs & Carpets
Carpets and rugs take a beating during the winter when people are more likely to track in snow, dirt and other outdoor elements. That’s why it’s essential to give your carpets a good shampooing in the spring. Hint: If you would rather not take on this task, you can usually find a good deal on professional carpet cleaning during this time of the year.

Dust Books and Shelves
Remove all the items on your bookshelves and wipe them down with a dust cloth. Then use a feather duster to remove any dust that has accumulated on your books.

Vacuum Upholstered Furniture
Put your vacuum’s upholstery brush to good use and carefully vacuum all your furniture cushions. If you notice any stains, this is the perfect time to use a stain removal spray to get them out. Hint: Be sure to check the care label on your furniture before using any type of cleaner, and always do a spot test in a hidden area of the fabric.

Perform a Fire Safety Check
Change the batteries in your smoke detectors and clear away any dust or grime that may have accumulated on them. Also, check to make sure your fire extinguisher is in good working order. If you don’t have an escape plan in the event of a fire, this is the perfect time to create one and make sure that everyone in the house knows the fastest way to get to safety.

Wash Window Screens

Fill a bucket with warm water and a mild dishwashing liquid. Use a scrubbing brush to clean all your window screens. Rinse thoroughly and let air dry.

Clean Window Treatments
Wipe down your blinds with warm water mixed with a mild dishwashing liquid. If you have machine-washable curtains or drapes, take them down and throw them in the washing machine.

As you’re tackling the items on your spring cleaning checklist, it’s also a good idea to take some time to review your home inventory list to make sure it’s up to date with any new major purchases like furniture, electronics, art, jewelry or other valuables. And, if you have questions about whether any new purchases are covered by your current homeowner’s insurance policy, don’t hesitate to call your trusted BIG Insurance – (Billyard Insurance Group) broker today at 1.855.843.1570.

If you’re not yet a Billyard Insurance Group client, it’s time for your to Think BIG about your Insurance.  Start your on-line Home Insurance Quote or Auto Insurance Quote today!

BIG Insurance is Proud to Support the Welland Hope Centre

The Billyard Insurance Group, in partnership with Unica Insurance, is proud to support the Welland Hope Centre with a donation of one thousand dollars to support the Hope Centre and it’s clients in our community.  Pictured above from left Christina Lajeunesse – Hope Centre Fund Developer & Community Coordinator;  Stephen Billyard – Billyard Insurance Group President; Mark Carl – Hope Centre Executive Director.

The Hope Centre has been serving the Welland community since 1974.  Its mission is to assist the most vulnerable citizens in Welland and surrounding are in their time of need by providing food and housing stability, and to empower change in their lives by increasing their future resilience to poverty and increasing their capacity to be self-sustaining through counseling and training.

If you would like to support the Hope Centre you can donate on-line via paypal or credit card here:

Introducing Director Of Commercial Insurance – Mark Whiteley

We are proud to announce the newest member of our Leadership team at Billyard Insurance Group : Mark Whiteley – Director of Commercial Insurance. Joining BIG from a successful career as Senior Commercial Underwriter with our valued partner Intact Insurance, Mark brings leadership and expertise to help serve all our commercial business insurance clients… BIG and Small.

Mark will operate primarily out of BIG head office in Welland, Ontario but will service and support brokers and clients in our offices all across Ontario, currently including BIG Guelph, BIG KW, BIG Brantford, BIG Hamilton, BIG Mississauga West, BIG Mississauga East, BIG Erin Mills, BIG Oakville, BIG Etobicoke, BIG Welland, BIG Brampton.

Please feel free to reach out to Mark Whiteley at our head office for all your Commercial Insurance needs.  (905) 346-2190 x 1012   or

Billyard Insurance Group Inc. – Think BIG

Getting Your Home Winter Ready

Getting Your Home Winter Ready If you’re a George R. R. Martin fan, you know that winter is coming. And an Ontario winter means temperatures dropping below zero, and a whole lot of icy, snowy weather. There are many important things to consider as they relate to our Home Insurance. Now that we’ve covered getting your car ready for winter, it’s time to think about prepping your home for the season. Making sure your home is prepared before the bad weather hits, might save you from needing to make a claim later.

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Auto Insurance St. Catharines

Auto Insurance St. Catharines – Billyard Insurance Group Looking for affordable and useful auto insurance in St. Catharines? Well if so, Billyard Insurance Group can help! We are an Independent Ontario Broker that operates out of the Niagara Region. We proudly service customers from areas like: Welland, Niagara Falls, Kitchener, London, Guelph, Oakville, St. Catharines, Windsor, Hamilton, and beyond. Our team of industry experts can assist you with finding affordable auto insurance that suits your needs, We are able to do this by working closely with our trusted network of partners.

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Car Insurance Hamilton

Car Insurance Hamilton – Billyard Insurance Group Looking for car insurance in Hamilton? Let Billyard Insurance Group be your first choice for quality car insurance that suits your needs and your budget. We are an independent Ontario Insurance Broker located in the Niagara Region, and we take great pride in being able to service clients from all over Ontario. Our team will do all the hard work for you and find you the lowest quotes possible with the best coverage. If you live in Niagara, Hamilton, Kitchener, London, Guelph, Oakville, St. Catharines, Welland, Windsor, and many other locations, we want to work with you! Click here to find out how you can save up to 30% on your car insurance with Billyard Insurance Group.
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High Risk Auto Insurance Hamilton

If you’re an unlucky driver with previous driving convictions, claims, tickets or license suspensions, Billyard Insurance Group can help you find affordable high risk auto insurance in Hamilton. We won’t turn you away or hesitate to provide the best quality service or do our due diligence to find you insurance that works for you. Insuring your vehicle shouldn’t be a hassle or leave your wallet empty. Rely on us for expert advice, affordable insurance coverage and professional assistance.Billyard Insurance Group is an Independent Ontario Broker that operates out of the Niagara Region. With our industry experts and our trusted network of lenders, we will be able to find you high risk auto insurance that works for you.
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Business Insurance St. Catharines

Business Insurance St. Catharines – Billyard Insurance Group The term business insurance in St. Catharines pertains to protecting against operational losses by a business. What type of loss is covered by a business insurance policy depends on the insurance company, the policy wording, and local limitations. If you are looking for insurance coverage for your business that is rock solid and protects you from operational losses and other circumstances, then Billyard Insurance Group can assist you. We are an Independent Ontario Broker that operates out of the Niagara Region and our professional team can help you find the best business insurance coverage that suits your needs and your budget. We will compare up to 10 quotes from Ontario’s most esteemed business insurance providers to find you the best commercial insurance rate for your business.
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Insurance Companies Niagara Falls

Insurance Companies Niagara Falls – Billyard Insurance Group If you are looking for insurance companies in Niagara Falls that can provide you with home, auto, and business insurance coverage? Well if so, Billyard Insurance Group should be your first choice. We are an Independent Ontario Broker that operates out of the Niagara Region. We proudly services residents from areas like: Welland, Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, London, Oakville, Hamilton, Kitchener, Guelph, Windsor, and beyond. Together with our trusted network of partners, we will do all the hard work for you and negotiate for the best insurance coverages for your needs. Never overpay for insurance again with our ‘Save Big promise.’
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Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter

Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter  is important to keep you and your family safe. Driving during the winter months can be a challenge but here are a few tips to help get your car winter-ready.

Preparing Your Vehicle for Winter with Winter Tires

As soon as temperatures hit 7 celcius, you can put on your winter tires. Winter tires contain a specific rubber compound which helps them grip snow and ice for better traction.

You should also take the time to check the air pressure in all four tires as well as the spare tire. The drop in temperature can cause a reduction in pressure making it hard to grip on snow and ice.

Many insurance companies also offer discounts if you put winter tires on during the months of November to March!

General Winter Maintenance on your VehiclePreparing your Vehicle for Winter - Car with Hat - BIG Insurance

Check  all fluids.

Check all fluids including engine coolant, oil, windshield washer fluid and gas. When Preparing your Vehicle for Winter, we recommend that you always have a minimum of half a tank of gas. Having a full tank of gas helps prevent condensation in your engine which happens more in winter temperatures.

Check your blades, battery, brakes and belts.

It is recommended that you change your wiper blades twice a year so they are effective at removing blowing snow and rain. In addition, checking your battery to make sure it’s running efficiently through the winter. Perhaps most importantly is checking your brakes. Braking is critical in the winter when you’re driving in the snow and ice. While you’re at the shop check those engine belts and hoses while you’re there! No one wants to break down but in the winter with cooler temperatures, it can be way worse if you do!

Check your air conditioning and exhaust systems.

Did you know that your air conditioning is what cars use to defrost and dehumidify the internal car environment. Many drivers don’t realize it’s actually your air conditioning system that vehicles use to defrost and de-humidify inside your car. Also, check your exhaust system is intact to avoid leaking exhaust pipes or mufflers which could cause carbon monoxide poisoning

Pack an Emergency Kit

Your emergency kit is key to Preparing your Vehicle for Winter. You should include some supplies for you and your passengers, including:

  • a first aid kit
  • bottled water
  • snacks
  • warm clothing
  • jumper cables
  • additional windshield washer fluid
  • flashlight
  • safety triangles
  • ice scraper
  • shovel
  • a bag of salt

The Billyard Insurance Group is an Independent Ontario Insurance Broker. We offer Auto, Home & Business Insurance from our network of trusted partners. Our experts will do the hard work on your behalf to find the lowest quotes and best coverage options for your insurance needs. Contact us today to get a no obligation car insurance quote!

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